Showing posts from March 31, 2018

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

President Who Bragged Of Groping Women Declares Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Huffington Post ["Offenders too often evade accountability," says Trump, who would know]

Court blocks Trump administration from forcing undocumented teens to remain pregnant, Think Progress
It makes perfect sense that Trump would take on Amazon — but Amazon is going to be a brutal foe, Business Insider [Bottom line: by killing malls and brick-and-mortar retailers, Amazon is seen by The Donald as bad a developer like The Donald]
David Shulkin's Firing at the VA Is Latest Step in Trump-Koch Push to Privatize Veterans' Health Care, AlterNet [The only single-payer system in the US]

Trump freezes more than $200 million in funds for Syria recovery efforts, Al Arabiya

What the President Won’t Say, Slate [His deafening silence on racial violence]

UN fails to condemn Israel's use force on unarmed Palestinians

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[That is to say, the Trump government blocked a Security Council statement condemning Israel's use of force against protesters at the Gaza border. See also: Gaza-Israel border: Palestinians mourn border dead. *RON*]
Al Jazeera, 31 March 2018

At Kuwait's request, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting late on Friday, to issue a statement condemning Israel's use of force against Palestinians protesting in Gaza.

The US blocked it several times, and the council failed to agree on a joint statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an "independent and transparent investigation" and reaffirmed "the readiness" of the world body to revitalise peace efforts.

However, Mansour al-Otaibi, Kuwait's ambassador to the UN, issued a statement criticising the Security Council's for failing to take action against Israel.

Zuckerberg disavows memo saying all user growth is good

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["I am absolutely a valueless psychopath!" "Wait, no! That will make me lose money! No, I most certainly am not a valueless psychopath!" *RON*]

David Ingram, Reuters, 29 March 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Facebook Inc executive said in an internal memo in 2016 that the social media company needed to pursue adding users above all else, BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday, prompting disavowals from the executive and Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

The memo from Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook vice president, had not been previously reported as Facebook faces inquiries over how it handles personal information and the tactics the social media company has used to grow to 2.1 billion users.

Zuckerberg stood by Bosworth, who goes by the nickname “Boz,” while distancing himself from the memo’s contents. Bosworth confirmed the memo’s authenticity but in a statement he disavowed its message, saying its goal had been to enc…

Florida Shooting: Confessed School Gunman Flooded With Fan Mail

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[There are so many unbelievably messed up people out there. See also: Nikolas Cruz's digital profile 'very, very disturbing' *RON*]

CBS Miami, 29 March 2018

PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — Confessed Parkland school gunman Nikolas Cruz is getting stacks of fan mail and love letters along with hundreds of dollars for his commissary account.

Fans span from teenage girls to women and even older men – some sending suggestive pictures tucked inside greeting cards.

Other fans offered friendship and encouragement to the gunman.

There are also Facebook communities where members talk about how they can help Cruz.

As for his commissary account, it’s currently up to $800.

In one of the letters, a Texas woman wrote, “I reserve the right to care about you, Nikolas!” That letter was mailed six days after Cruz opened fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people on February 14th.

In another letter dated March 15th, a teen wrote to Cruz, “I’m 18-year…

B.C. Premier John Horgan predicts ‘crisis’ from anti-pipeline protests

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[Horgan is so conflicted, and goes backward and forward, on issues related to the environment. *RON*]

Ian Bailey, Globe & Mail, 29 March 2018

B.C. Premier John Horgan is predicting a “crisis” over protests against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline but says it’s up the federal government and the National Energy Board to deal with the situation.

“It’s going to be a long, hot summer,” said Mr. Horgan, asked on Wednesday about the situation at an unrelated news conference.

Operations of project driver Kinder Morgan in Burnaby, B.C., have been targeted by protesters concerned about the prospect of a tripling of the amount of diluted bitumen that would flow from the Edmonton area to a port in Burnaby.

Mr. Horgan declined to comment on a decision by Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan not to cover policing costs linked to dealing with protests in the city against Kinder Morgan operations.

As with many other B.C. communities, Burnaby is policed by the…

Student uprising of 1968 still dividing France as Macron mulls celebrations

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[The 50th anniversary of the May 1968 uprising is just around the corner, and Macron is caught between trying to appease the public by honoring it and his fear that it will happen again now that he has threatened to end 'jobs for life.' *RON*]

David Chazan, Telegraph, 18 March 2018

It was an anti-establishment uprising that transformed France, but 50 years on the country is divided over whether to commemorate the anniversary of the May 1968 student protests.

Battles with police in the streets of Paris, strikes, and occupations of factories and public buildings brought the country to a virtual standstill.

Fearing that revolution or civil war was about to break out, President Charles de Gaulle fled secretly to a military airbase in Germany and then called snap elections.

A year later he resigned after losing a referendum on reforming the Senate and local government.

Right-wingers see the protests as a period of dangerous unrest that polarised so…